CUSP - Critically Urgent Societal Problems

CUSP Panel Discussion

Monday, 5 December 2022, at 2.15 – 4.00 p.m
A Critically Urgent Discussion about Intercountry Adoption to Sweden and What Remains
to Be Done

Tobias Hübinette, Anna Singer, Gonda Van Steen

International adoption has by now been with us for more than seventy years in a row. First a
post-WWII and postcolonial phenomenon, then a Cold War and thereafter globalization
phenomenon, it is a movement that has placed approximately 1 million children in new geographical,
cultural, religious and racial locations and has given them new names and identities. However, little
critical attention was paid to this phenomenon, which therefore has been called the silent migration,
until the adult adopted persons started to speak for themselves, to question the need for and the
legality of their adoptions, to connect with each other transnationally across the globe, and to speak
openly about the profound racial and class issues involved in the practice. Sweden is the country that
proportionally has"received" the largest number of adopted children from abroad and that has now
committed itself to an in-depth investigation into the corrupt aspects of international adoption. What
is the Swedish investigation and other similar investigations around the world discovering? To what
extent are the investigations hampered by the loss or inaccessibility of records or falsified documents?
Can the sometimes unsettling results of the investigations bring resolution and reconciliation to the most
affected parties? And who has crafted the previous dominating narratives surrounding international

Panel participants:
Tobias Hübinette, Reader in Intercultural Education, and Senior Lecturer in Pedagogical Work,
Karlstad University
Anna Singer, Professor of Private Law and Dean, Faculty of Law, Uppsala University. Head of Committee,
Swedish Government Committee on Adoptions
Gonda Van Steen, Fellow, SCAS. Koraes Chair of Modern Greek and Byzantine History, Language
and Literature, King’s College London

The panel participants will each deliver some position points (15 minutes each) and then engage with
the audience in a (moderated) Q&A session.

The panel discussion is organized within the framework of the SCAS CUSP Series.

Venue: Thunbergssalen, SCAS, Linneanum, Thunbergsvägen 2, Uppsala.
The event will also be available via Zoom Webinar:

Read more about the organizer:
Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS) >>